Like many of us, a heart-wrenching situation in my life brought me to the realization that I was not living the life I intended to live, that I was being a puppet in someone else’s show rather than being the director of my own life. It caused me to realize that I lived my life for everyone else — for my husband, for my child/children, for my job… I was “happy” because I was bending over backwards ensuring their happiness. And there’s nothing wrong with that, except when you allow it to consume you, you lose your Self. When you allow your being in the service of others to be your complete and total life with no regard for Self ever. That’s what I had done…
I found that the act of creating beautiful scrapbook pages was helping me to release past baggage and heal.
I also was in turmoil in my spiritual life. From the age of 8 years old I challenged the belief system I was raised in. I tried throughout my life to embrace the teachings and to see the beauty that those teaching me saw, but it just was not to be. I had left Christianity and embraced a more Eastern path, but that too left me seeking more and not being fulfilled. I immersed myself into a creative outlet — scrapbooking — which began my process and my path to becoming an artist and creative being.
Fast-forward a few years and I found Shiloh Sophia McCloud and her Red Madonna community and work. For a solid year I ran from her paintings and teachings. Her work was calling me — screaming my name — telling me to come and be healed and become a healer. Yet I kept running. I was confused and scared. I knew that I had found exactly what my heart had been bleeding for, yet the realization of this frightened me beyond imagination. I was frozen. Stuck. Held still in the spot that had become so familiar to me. My comfort zone that brought me little comfort…
Shortly before finding Shiloh, I transitioned from a “scrapbooker” to a mixed media artist. I embraced mixed media because there was so much more I could do on the page. Meeting Shiloh was the next step: moving from the page onto the canvas and painting. Making a larger splash of beauty and healing on the Universe. I hadn’t painted before a day in my life. This was totally new. Nor had I taken any formal art classes other than those mandatory during 12 years of elementary, middle, and high school.
I was finally at the point where I wasn’t going to let my shortcomings be a roadblock for me.
I ended up taking Shiloh’s 2013 Great Work Retreat. In addition to the healing that I experienced during this retreat, I also realized what it is that I have been called to do as my work in this world. Yep – it included creativity. I would be using my talents to show others how art can be used to heal themselves and to understand by healing themselves the world is healed! Next stop: Color of Woman Teacher Training…only I wasn’t quite aware of that yet. Not only was the cost of the training class prohibitive for me — I’m the sole income earner in my household — but I had never painted before. I wasn’t sure I would be able to be successful in a training program that required copious painting. Shiloh ensured me that I could do it — not only financially but the painting part.
Shiloh helped me see that by opening to the process, it in itself, not solely in painting, does beauty manifest itself.
So, I embarked. I enrolled and worked through the Color of Woman training course, finishing the required work as well as all of the enrichment activities on time. Just 10 months after taking the first step which helped me to figure out my great work, I became a 2013 Certified Color of Woman Teacher and Certified Intentional Creativity Coach. I had arrived — at the beginning…
Yes, I am at the beginning of MY journey as a trained helper and healer.
During my time in Color of Woman training, I opened an art gallery and dedicated it to the positive image of women. It is a Gallery and studio combined: 1,000 square feet of commercial space whose walls hold the paintings from my heart to the world, where other artists’ work will grace the space and infuse positive imagery into the Gallery, where I hold Color of Woman painting classes and journal workshops, where I will launch Transcendental WINGS: Women Intent on Nurturing the Goddess pSyche…
My work as a Certified Color of Woman Teacher involves bringing the healing power of art and intentional creativity to the masses, with a specific eye on women of color. I find in my experience that women of color often know of the goodness of intentional creativity, intuitive painting, and other forms of healing through art. They may not always take the next steps, exploring how instituting a creative practice in their lives causes healing and creates beauty and healing for others. I unfortunately witness my sisters running out for retail therapy in order to heal their wounds rather than doing something proactively for themselves that will last a lot longer than that momentary elation for the Michael Kors bag they’ve just purchased.
Right now, in this moment, I am on fire for birthing Transcendental WINGS. I am in deep creation mode for this women’s group which will use visual journaling as the key vehicle in transcending from what was to what is. Through the Color of Woman Method and deep work in our journals we will remove ourselves from being stuck still in the past, allowing what was to be guiding us, to a transcendence into the present moment with knowledge and wisdom of what we are causing and creating for our future.
My art speaks to what can be… Remember: I am an uneducated being in the realm of art. No formal art training whatsoever. No drawing classes, no painting classes, not even an art appreciation class. A total newbie to the world and profession of art, yet I have an art gallery that is a year old this month and I proudly claim the title ARTIST! Rather than wallow in what my life was serving me, I transformed Self — I transcended — into what I want life to be for me. My paintings are portals of possibility. They show my progression from never painting a stroke in my life, to painting for my life. They are a testament to my sisters in the struggle that YES! YOU CAN HAVE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS!!
Did I plot and plan my life out to be an artist?
Did I go to school with the focus on living out my years holding Gallery openings and cocktail parties for other artists?
Is my current full-time job in line with a career and life surrounded with artworks?
Does it matter that this wasn’t my plan over the last nearly 48 years?
Does it matter that I hold a job which I love that isn’t in the art arena?
Does it matter that it appears that I live two separate lives — a work life of technology and a personal life of art?
The full-time job finances what’s needed for the full-time life of an artist. I’m not a “starving artist” and can afford my passion as well as my Gallery. It is a means to an end — an end that I choose rather than one that’s chosen for me because of my circumstances. I get to retire from that position in about 10 years time and turn my full attention to my artist side while pulling in a nice steady retirement check, yet again avoiding the “starving artist” persona without sacrificing my art. I get to build the Gallery and the studio workshops and Transcendental WINGS in such a manner that it is authentic and a loving offering rather than a push to bring in adequate income to cover the
You MUST guide your own life! You cannot allow your life to guide you. YOU are the Artist! Take hold of the reigns and even if you need to make a complete 360 degree turn to get to the life you desire, than do it!
Figure out how you can add CREATIVITY into your daily routine in order to design the life of your dreams.
YOU have the paintbrush and a blank canvas.
Start now, start today with the first stroke of the color of your choice.
Come join me in Transcendental WINGS and allow me to show you how to manipulate your life into the expression of Self that you choose rather than have life manipulate you. Cut your puppet strings today!
If you would like to chat with me or get to know more about my story and how I am using the Color of Woman and intentional creativity to assist women in transcending the platform they’re stuck on and moving into their dream life, you can reach me through the following avenues:
Artist Website: www.Simply-Sumaiyah.com
Gallery Website: www.Soulful-Emergence.org